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People of Kafr Nubl mourn Ra'ed al-Faris and Hammoud Juneid

Editing: Amena Riyad |
TranslationEditor: Vera Halvorsen |
Translation: Maan Salti
Publication date: 2018/11/26 22:31

Idlib - SMART

On Friday, two of the most distinguished leaders of the peaceful movements in Kafr Nubl, Ra'ed al-Faris and Hammoud Juneid, were assassinated in Kafr Nubl in Idlib, Northern Syria. Their deaths are considered the greatest loss the city has suffered since the revolution started.

Friends and family bade farewell to Ra'ed al-Faris, whose name was strongly associated with the famous banners raised by the peaceful demonstrators against the Syrian government in the city every Friday, especially in the first years of the revolution. Al-Faris' friends said that they lost one of the symbols of the Syrian Revolution.

Abdul Warith al-Bakkour, a close friend of al-Faris and Juneid, told SMART that al-Faris joined the revolution at the beginning. He organized demonstrations and wrote the banners that put Kafr Nubl on the map as a civilized and urban center of the Syrian Revolution. Al-Bakkour said that al-Faris' main concern was to convey the true image of the Syrian Revolution in media and deny the Syrian government's lies, which framed the demonstrators as armed and the revolution as a sectarian fight.

Al-Bakkour said that his city became a pilgrimage destination for international journalists due to its distinguished peaceful activity and special banners. The revolutionary work began on an institutional level in the city after al-Faris and Juneid, along with a group of other activists, established the city's media office.

Al-Bakkour also said that al-Faris and Juneid were there at the beginning of every peaceful activity and institutional formation in the city, adding that they came up with the idea of the Kafr Nubl Revolutionary Council, which gathered civil bodies, media and statistical services, relief organizations, and the Union of Revolutionary Offices. Al-Faris led his media office to begin and develop the official institutional work in the city, according to al-Bakkour.

Al-Faris and his companions launched service and development projects, including the Kafr Nubl water station, the Babolin water station, and other projects that offered jobs to around 650 people.

Abdul Warith confirmed that what al-Faris created will inspire the friends and activists he left behind to follow his path despite his death.

Osama al-Ahmad, a resident of Kafr Nubl working for the Union of Revolutionary Offices, said, "What was special about working with al-Faris and Juneid was their determination and pursuit of free speech and intellect, not arms and weapons. Their sense of what was right was clear." Al-Ahmad added that the two activists opposed the area's military factions and foreign agendas, which do not accept freedom of speech, resulting in the deaths of the two activists.

Al-Ahmad added that most of the projects al-Faris worked on focused on children's and women's rights, and service and development projects that aimed to improve the quality of life of people in Kafr Nubl.

Abdullah al-Salloum, another close friend and coworker of al-Faris and Juneid, said that he met al-Faris at the beginning of the Syrian Revolution when al-Salloum and a group of his friends planned to set fire to a Syrian government police station. Al-Salloum said that al-Faris stopped them and said, "Such acts are subversive and do not represent the Syrian Revolution. These establishments belong to the Syrian people, not the al-Assad family."

Al-Salloum added that the loss of al-Faris and Juneid is a loss to the Syrian Revolution, because the two men were a beacon of its civil and revolutionary work. Those who did not know them will never realize how important they were, al-Salloum said.

Peaceful activists have suffered restrictions on their freedom, detention, torture and assassinations during the years of the Syrian Revolution. The Syrian government forces have tortured tens of thousands of detainees to death in prisons.